Leader of al-Qaeda killed, U.S. drone strike ordered by President Biden

Pres and Jill Biden disembarking Air Force One
President Joe Biden, joined by First Lady Jill Biden, salutes U.S Air Force Col. Stephen Snelson and his wife Catherine as he disembarks Marine One Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland prior to departing for Houston. (Official White House Photo by Katie Ricks)

On Monday, President Biden formally announced the killing of Ayman al-Zawahri, the leader of al Qaeda, in a drone strike. al-Zawahri succeeded Osama bin Laden as head of the terrorist Islamic organization after the latter was killed by order of then-President Batrack Obama. al-Zawahri is believed to have been involved with bin Laden in the planning of the September 11, 2001 attack on the Word Trade Center. According to the Associated Press, “[c]urrent and former officials began hearing Sunday afternoon that al-Zawahri had been killed in a drone strike, but the administration delayed releasing the information until his death could be confirmed.”

Former Republican and ecognized counterterrorism expert Elizabeth Neumann was thrilled by the news: “My first reaction: tears of relief. . . .  The threat remains, but tonight we can be soberly grateful for justice.”

When President Biden pulled American troops out of Afghanistan, he was soundly criticized. It would be nearly impossible to successfully combat terrorism without the U.S. military presence, critics argued. Monday’s drone strike would seem to suggest, however, that Biden’s strategy of keeping Americans home and safe– and fighting terrorists through technology– does in fact work.